As Thanksgiving approaches, it's time to give thanks and celebrate with our loved ones. If you're serving up a sumptuous home-cooked meal, you'll know that one of the most important parts of the Thanksgiving feast is the wine choice. With so many different flavours on the menu – and some that you only make once a year, selecting wines to partner up with all of the flavours might be made easier by a little advice.
The big question: Which wines go with a variety of tastes, textures, flavours and aromas that uniquely present themselves on Thanksgiving Day? Ultimately, the choice is entirely up to you, as the art of pairing wine with food is largely a matter of personal preference; however, here you will find some tried-and-true safe bets pairings to get your Thanksgiving wine themes started.
Top Thanksgiving Reds
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Bold and rich, Zinfandel could very well be the #1 Thanksgiving wine choice as it amplifies Thanksgiving spices such as clove, cinnamon and allspice! This varietal also often adds a touch of smokiness to the taste profile and is typically bolder and richer (higher in alcohol) and thus, pairs well with dark meats often found on the dinner table.
Now this red wine is a traditional favourite, a fine-wine lover's pick for Thanksgiving, due to the grape's prestigious pedigree tracing back to Burgundy, France. Pinot Noir is a great pick for classic Thanksgiving dishes with simple spicing (salt and pepper), or cream based dishes such as creamy mashed potatoes or casserole. Pinot also works well with both dark and white meats and will do wonderfully to accentuate cranberry-like flavours.
Bringing a spicier edge to the table, Syrah often increases the complexity while graciously handling the abundance of flavours in a Thanksgiving meal. The peppery notes of Syrah would also partner perfectly with herb-infused stuffings in both white and dark meats.
Top Thanksgiving Whites
One of the international favourites of the world, this crisp white wine is known for its citrus-based flavours that can be surrounded by lean, herbacerous or mineral undertones, hence making it a prime pairing candidate for Thanksgiving. Sauvignon Blanc also acts as a palate cleanser to rich gravies and sauces.
While they may not boast the best initial name recognition of say, Chardonnay, the Albariño offer the perfect opportunity to shake up the Thanksgiving table and take your guests on a little wine adventure while still maintaining great pairing power.
Along with the sparkling wine category, Rosé are also worthy of consideration for Thanksgiving wine pairing potential. They all provide a capable go-between for those that are not firmly camped in either the red or the white wine trenches. A drier selection will offer an extremely versatile pairing with virtually any part of the meal.